You are wanting help to get fit, lean, lose weight or maybe just overall feel better and have more energy. Your first thought is to find a personal trainer. Someone to guide you through the process and help you achieve these goals. The difference with finding a good trainer versus a bad one means the difference of getting injured or not, hitting your goals or not, or wasting your money compared to finding someone so valuable money isn't an issue.
I was talking with my sister about her experience with a recent trainer. She joined a very nice gym and was signed up to work with a trainer who was certified. My sister is over 50 and this trainer was in his mid 20's and a former football player. After a few sessions she stopped training with him because he was training her like a football player. The movements and exercises he wanted her to do were difficult and the sessions were not what she was looking for. She expressed to him, " I'm in my fifties. You can't train me like a football player. I can't move like this. My goals are to feel better, get toned and be able to live life with energy and fullness. The workouts are not attaining these goals." My sister was able to recognize the trainer and his abilities were not benefiting her and that injury was just around the corner. Unfortunately, most do not because you want to believe your certified personal trainer has the knowledge and you are trusting them to train you correctly and efficiently, so why question them? If this same trainer had a high school kid who wanted to get faster and stronger for football then it would be a great match. My sister was not.
I have heard countless stories like this one, so if you are looking for a personal trainer here are some tips on finding the right one for you.
If you do find that special personal trainer be sure to always express how you feel. If an exercise is hurting your joints or feels painful you need to let them know. A good one will have you stop immediately and make note of the situation. I tell my clients their feedback is very important, so be sure to let your trainer know.
Having a personal trainer can be very beneficial for your health and hitting your fitness goals, but finding the right one is important. I hope my four tips will lead you in the right path.
When you go into a big box gym most of the weight room space is filled with machines such as a seated chest press, seated row, leg extension, etc. Then there is usually a small space dedicated to do more functional exercises that doesn't involve a machine, like dumbbells, suspension trainers, medicine balls, BOSUs and so on. This is the area you should be spending the majority of your time. Why? With the functional equipment you have to engage and recruit more muscles. We are all busy, so isn't it better to take an hour workout and do it in half the time while getting the same benefits or more? Let's look at a seated chest press. First of all you are sitting. Need I say more about that one. The muscles worked are chest, a little tricep and shoulder. Now let's look at a push-up. This puts you in a plank position, so already we have to recruit core, glutes, and inner thighs along with shoulders, chest and triceps. The demand on the chest, shoulders and triceps are greater than the seated chest press. Even if you did the push-ups on your knees or at an incline, you are recruiting more and using more muscles than sitting at a chest press machine.
Many gyms have exercise machines because they sell memberships. If people walked in and only saw dumbbells, TRX straps, stability balls and a bench or two, they would walk away. The main reason is they are not sure what to do. Machines are usually easy to maneuver and for the most part the chance of injury is minimal. If you are in this situation I suggest getting a session or two from a personal trainer and learn a few workouts using a suspension trainer, such as a TRX strap and a few other functional pieces of equipment. You will be amazed what it can do for you.
My "short on time" workout program uses these methods. You have an app and each exercise in videoed. You can take it to the gym and learn how to do these great workouts. They will also get your heart rate up so you are burning more calories and once again getting more bang for your buck. My favorite kind of workouts!
I have been reading a great book called "Work Stronger" by Pete Leibman. In the book it talks about habits for more energy, less stress and higher performance. Here is a section straight from the book that sparked this post, "It's possible to reach the top of your field if you drink five sodas a day, if you have a sedentary lifestyle, or if you sleep fewer than six hours a night. It's also possible to complete a 26.2 marathon by doing cartwheels, by jogging backwards, or crawling on your hands and knees. However just because something is possible, that doesn't mean it's a smart strategy."
One day I was having lunch with my sister and I noticed her taking a pill after we ate. I asked her what it was and she told me it was a fat burner. She takes it after she eats and it helps to burn calories. What she especially liked was she didn't have to workout. I told her what it really does is raise her heart rate which could be dangerous and that she would be better off getting her heart rate up and burning calories naturally through exercise. Let's just say that my advice went in one ear and out the other. A few days later I get a call from her. She had just left the emergency room. She was at work and she started sweating and her pulse was really high. It scared her so she went to the ER. Guess what the culprit was.....the fat burner. There are probably some people who had success with the fat burning (at least that is what the internet said according to my sister) and others who reacted like my sister. Again, just because something is possible, doesn't mean it's a smart strategy.
What got us where we are now may have worked, but how can we improve to take ourselves even further? I have clients who have plateaued in their weight loss and ask me how they can get past it and start losing weight again. What once worked now needs to be changed and updated and taken to another level. That doesn't necessarily mean work harder, but work smarter. Look at all your habits and what can improve? None of us are perfect. We don't eat perfect everyday. We should get 7-8 hours a sleep at night, but some nights that may be impossible. Especially if your child has an 8 PM basketball game that doesn't get you home until 9:30 PM and you have an early morning client (not that I'm complaining). I am sure you can relate. The goal should be that we try each day to do the best we can. Use the best habits we can and success will come.
Here is a check list to follow:
Remember short cuts and bad habits may get you so far, but it won't get you the best results. Try your best each day to create good habits and stay smart with your lifestyle. Who knows what you will achieve.
It is a new year and you may have your resolutions ready to go, but let me add one to your list. It's easy and can change your life. Reduce the amount of sitting in your day. Did you know that sitting is just as bad for you as smoking? Some researchers are listing it as the new cancer. Being sedentary and not getting movement in your day can lead to serious health problems?
Sitting for a long time causes the body to burn less fat and blood to flow slowly which can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and other health issues. There is a new term called Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. (NEAT). This is a term associated with general activity we do throughout the day, such as walking, cleaning the house, yard work, etc.. It's not planned exercise, but it's not sitting or laying down.
Even if you did a good workout in the morning you should still try and continue to move throughout the day. A physical therapist friend of mine did a little research on this. He had one of his employees workout for a full hour. The workout was hard and the employee burned a lot of calories. Then he had the employee sit for the rest of the day in front of a computer. Another employee who was a fellow physical therapist didn't do a planned workout, but was on her feet all day. She moved throughout the day and did not sit. Both had on devices to record calorie burn and the physical therapist who moved throughout the day burned more calories than the employee who did the hard workout.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't do a planned workout, but no matter what you need to continue to find movement in your day. If you have a job where you sit behind a desk all day then get up and walk around as much as possible. At lunch take 10-15 minutes and walk around your office building. Get up from your desk and do squats or lunges. Anything you can do to take a break from sitting.
A standing desk is a great option. I am typing this blog behind a standing desk right now. If you take the subway or train to work, stand instead of sitting. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park far away. You know the drill. Anyway you can find movement in your day, do it. You will burn more calories, improve your health and decrease your chances of health issues.
Online Personal Training is something fairly new to the personal training world. You may be unsure of how it works and if you will get the results and accountability you are looking for. This blog is to help you understand online personal training and to show the benefits it has over one on one personal training.
With online personal training you can workout when it fits your schedule. When working with a one on one trainer at a gym you are under the mercy of their schedule. I have an online client who works out at 10 PM most days. She is a night owl and this is what works for her and her schedule. She struggled keeping a schedule with a one on one trainer. Life would get in the way and she would have to cancel constantly. Now she gets her workouts in when time allows for her. Sometimes it's 2pm and other days it's 10pm.
When working out a convenient location is important. If you join a gym that is far away or not conveniently located you are more than likely not going to go. Online training is designed for you to workout at home. With just a few minor pieces of equipment (bands and a few dumbbells) you have a perfect home gym. Of course, the workouts can be designed to be done at a gym or even a hotel room. All the workouts are on video and can be accessed from an app right on your phone. Which means you can take the workout with you anywhere.
Will your one on one personal trainer keep you accountable on a daily basis? Most likely not! With the Good Body there is daily accountability. Plus, skype assessments, emails and support groups. Through the app I can tell if you have checked in and done your workouts. I can even see the amount of calories you are eating. My current online clients can't say enough regarding the accountability.
The price point for online training is less expensive than a one on one trainer. The average cost of a personal trainer, especially if you want one who is qualified, is usually $50-$100 an hour. If you are training with them two times a week you are easily spending $400 to $800 a month. This plus the cost of a gym fee can really add up. With the Good Body you will receive workouts to do 5-6 times a week. This would cost you over $1000 a month working with a one on one trainer. Spending $400-600 a month with online training is more affordable, plus you have the convenience element and accountability.
Talking about convenience, most online workouts will not last a full hour. The Good Body workouts are effective and efficient. You can also split up that days workout, for instance you can do the cardio portion in the morning and then the weight portion in the evening. Your online trainer will design workouts to fit your needs and time.
Online training is a win win. If you are wanting to lose weight or hit any other fitness goals I encourage you to give online training a try. Go to the Get Started page on this website, complete the short application which will direct you to a calendar to set up a call with me. I can answer all your questions. No pressure, I promise!
I recently posted a blog called "Exercise Guidelines for a Healthier You" where I mentioned 150 minutes a week of cardiovascular exercise was important for health and longevity. This is very true. Cardiovascular activity has its many benefits, but so does strength training which is why we must incorporate it into our workout regime.
If you want to lose weight faster and keep it off, adding in strength training is important. Strength training adds muscle mass and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat even at rest. Here is an example. Let's say two females who weigh the same walk on a treadmill at the same pace. Female A has 15% body fat and Female B has 20% body fat. Leaner Female A is burning more calories each step than Female B. Even though they weigh the same their muscle to fat ratio is different. Female A has more muscle mass which requires more energy to function, so she is burning more calories than Female B.
Don't worry, you don't have to lift heavy to get the benefits, You can endurance weight train which is lower weight and more repetitions. Body weight exercises are just as good, such as planks (see previous blog), squats, push-ups, etc. Adding in a day every so often of some heavier weights and lower repetitions is good to mix it up. Find 8-10 exercises and make sure whatever weight you are using, the last 2-3 repetitions are challenging, but can be completed with proper form. If it's not challenging then you know to adjust to a heavier weight.
Other benefits of strength training is it increases bone density which reduces your chances of osteoporosis. It strengthens the connective tissue of ligaments and tendons which decreases your chance of joint injury.
Adding in two days a week of strength training has it's benefits and it won't take a lot of your time. The rewards are worth it.
A plank is an exercise you can easily perform at home, in your hotel room, or really anywhere you want and it has many benefits. Let's first talk about the correct plank position.
To perform a plank properly and achieve all the benefits you have to make sure you are in the correct position. Hands are underneath your shoulders. If your hands are out in front of your shoulders you will actually put a lot of extra pressure on your shoulders. Pull your shoulders down and back. Make sure your body is in a straight line. Hips are not high like a mountain or too low like a valley. Be sure to engage your core by pulling in your abdominals. Also, squeeze your glutes and inner thighs. If this position bothers your wrists you can always come down to your elbows. Making sure your elbows are under your shoulders. Start by holding the pose for 10-15 seconds and then work to hold it for 1 minute or more.
Planking at least once a day holds many benefits.
Here is your challenge, plank everyday. The benefits are amazing and can only improve your quality of life.
Are you struggling to lose those last 10lbs or even more? Follow these 10 steps and you will be on your way to successful weight loss.
How much do I need to exercise to see the benefits? I get this question all the time. In 2001 the American College of Sports Medicine came out with the guidelines of exercise. After extensive research (and I know because I have the five pound book to proof it.) they came up with 150 minutes a week of cardiovascular exercise.
This 150 minutes can be spread out in a way that fits your schedule, such as 30 minutes five times a week or an hour two times a week plus thirty minutes on a third day. You can even take the 30 minutes and spread it out, so you’re doing 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. The goal is by the end of the week did you get in a total of 150 minutes?
If your workouts are at a higher intensity, then you will not need to do a full 150 minutes. The goal is calorie burn. You burn more calories working at a higher intensity then working at a moderate intensity. For instance, a 20 minute fast run working 84% or more of your max heart rate burns just as many or more calories than a 30 minute light jog at a moderate intensity (70-80% of max heart rate). Mixing it up is always a great idea. Maybe one day it’s a 30-40 minute moderate intensity workout and the next day you do a 20-30 minute higher intensity workout.
The recommendation for strength training is working each muscle group at least 2 times a week. For general benefits (if your goal is not body building) 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions will do the trick. Of course, you want to be sure to do the exercises correctly to not hurt yourself. Working with an online trainer is very beneficial (wink wink) because all the exercises are on video to make sure you are doing them correctly. Be sure if your buddy is showing you exercises, they know what they’re doing. I always recommend working with a certified personal trainer at least a few times to make sure you understand good body mechanics to avoid hurting yourself.
Click here if you want more information. Please always remember, if you are starting any new exercise routine to get approval from your doctor first. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now go workout!
is the owner of The Good Body Personal Training. With a Bachelors of Science degree in the fitness field and 25 years experience in the fitness industry, she has become an expert in the field of exercise science and a well known personal trainer.